Janis Dardaris: The evolution of a new role

If her approach to reading scripts is any indication, Janis Dardaris is the type who starts a mystery novel by skipping to the last page. She decided on her Barrymore Award-winning role in the Wilma Theater’s “Scorched” as soon as she read the character’s final monologue. And when she picked up the script for Sarah Treem’s “The How and the Why,” Dardaris says, “The last line of the play got me. It ended on a very human level.”

Presumably having gone back and read the remainder of the play, Dardaris stars in InterAct Theatre Company’s Philly premiere of the play as a leading evolutionary biologist who faces off with an up-and-comer in the field, played by Victoria Frings. More importantly, both have to struggle against the male domination of academic science. Dardaris’ character touts a theory that women have been more evolutionarily important to the species than men.

“There’s this whole patriarchal idea that women came from the rib of Adam,” Dardaris says. “Women are often thought of as secondary creatures, even in this post-feminist time. I think that this could make people rethink that. It would be great if people leave and they start talking.”

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